free write

Free write (7/3/19)

Topic: Food.

Context: Created as a short free writing exercise with some colleagues, fellow educators. Very little editing. Grammar not important.

The free write:

They decided to write about food. And Betty started singing, “Food! Wonderful food! Wonderful food!” I thought, “Food’s ok.” But she kept singing. And that’s when I distinctly heard someone crying. We looked and saw Djelilatou in tears. When we asked, she said: “I don’t like food as you do, Betty.” Tears fell from her face. It was wrong to assume that everyone would feel the same way about food as Betty does. Raul tried to mediate.

“Listen, guys,” he said. “We don’t need any fighting!”

“There better not be any,” said Marcos as he entered the room, pizza box in hand. “’Cause if there is, I’m in the mood to rumble.”

It was an obvious reference to Rumble in the Bronx. Clever though it was, I felt uneasy. Wondered if I should intervene.

“Food is great!” Betty shouted. She was in denial.

More crying, like a puppy drowning. Truly helpless I felt.

“Maybe,” Raul said . . . “Just maybe there are those of us that like food, and those of us who simply like it less. That’s all, guys. We don’t need to fight.”

“No fighting!” shouted Elizabeth.

Marcos appeared to agree because he said: “I am more of a lover than a fighter anyway.” And sat down.

Free write (7/1/19)

Topic: Fall 2018-Spring 2019

Context: Created as a short free writing exercise with some colleagues, fellow educators. I attempted to “freestyle” toward the end. Very little editing. Grammar not important.

The free write:

Nothing really is coming to mind. I will have to think about this more. What happened? What happened during this time? I was teaching. Hands full. Really trying to pay down that debt. Did a good job on that. What was happening then? Conferences and Poet’s Cafes. The conference was such a clusterfuck. Truly. Very difficult to pull off. Six people. Three different scenarios. Where’s Occam when you need a razor? I don’t know. More memorable was the recent Poet’s Café. That Sadiq guy. Will have him on the Pod. Should be fun. Very interesting. Some good hip-hop. Rap the rumblings of people in rags. Some rags to riches. Sad men and women by circumstance but also glad because they stand. Damn, I don’t know, man. But there’s something about it that speaks to me. An energy. A needing to be received. A people who’d never live on their knees. A mind game that’s fun to play but hard to stay and vibe and stay alive. I don’t know. It’s cool. Wish more would show. Many more of these events to go. Where we can grow and see, how the young and old, man and lady alike, fight oppression and life with meaning and life. Reminds me of when Brother M took the stage before I knew him. I remember how it was back then. Singing a song of soul and power, with no desire to cower.

Writing about Writing

Writing is like running. (I thank Murakami for that insight.) Sometimes, you do it ‘cause it’s good for you – and to maintain the habit, the discipline. Sometimes, you want to see where you end up. You know you want to go somewhere, but don't know where. So you run. And hope that maybe you’ll figure it out once you get there. But you don’t always feel like it. Sometimes, you need a warmup. Maybe you want to walk a bit, or pace, or do some jumping jacks. Free writing can also be a warmup for writing something more serious (running). And you wouldn’t do anything unless there’s a benefit. But you don’t always know what the benefit is. Yet you have faith that there is one - because it's helped you in the past. So, sometimes, you just start; you try to not think, just do. And you reach flow. That is an end in and of itself. And, in that way, writing is also like meditation.